Friday, June 23, 2006

When employees become competitors

I've blogged before about PROFIT Magazine's great online resource, Peer to Peer, where real entrepreneurs answer business questions posed by other real entrepreneurs. Who knows better what you're going through, right?

This week's question, from an anonymous entrepreneur, is pretty compelling.

"I am a new entrepreneur running a small but growing business in custom window fashions and home furnishings. I spent thousands of hours and dollars acquiring market information and locating suppliers before plunging into this business. I hired one salesperson who had no prior experience in the industry, and I extensively trained him. But after learning everything there is to know about my business, the fellow stole data from me, poached one of my employees and started his own identical business, which directly competes with mine.

"Could I have avoided this situation? How do business owners stop employees from stealing their ideas and starting their own companies? And should I take this person to court?"

The best answers are here.

For the whole gamut of previous Peer to Peer questions, click here.

Maybe you've heard the old Chinese proverb: "To know the road ahead, ask those coming back."

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